The Bartolotta Restaurants has promoted Aaron Bickham to corporate executive chef, following the departure of James Beard Award-winning head chef and managing partner Adam Siegel.
"Chef Adam Siegel will be departing The Bartolotta Restaurants to pursue other opportunities. After 20-plus years with the company, The Bartolotta Restaurants is grateful for Chef Siegel’s contributions, leadership, and overall commitment to the company," the company said in a statement.
Siegel joined the company in 2000 as executive sous chef at Lake Park Bistro in Milwaukee, after receiving his formative training in the early 90s at Spiaggia under chef Paul Bartolotta, co-founder and owner of The Bartolotta Restaurants. During his tenure, Siegel played an integral role in the company's growth from three to 17 locations across the area.
Bickham also has a long history with the Milwaukee-based restaurant group, having worked with the culinary team on and off since 2001. For the past seven years, Bickham served as corporate executive sous chef, where he assisted with restaurant openings, as well as the group's strategic reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his new role, Bickham will oversee menu development, culinary leadership, operations and guest experience. He will also provide coaching and mentoring to team members and assist with talent recruitment.
"(Bickham's) overall understanding of hospitality and restaurant management will be vital as the company continues to move forward," the company said.
A classically trained chef, Bickham employs a culinary philosophy that allows single ingredients to inspire any dish. During his stints with The Bartolotta Restaurants, he has studied alongside Paul Bartolotta as well as chefs Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller.
Prior to joining the group, Bickham served in sous chef roles in Chicago, at chef Bill Kim’s BellyQ and Urbanbelly as well as Maison Brasserie and Public Hotels under chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Earlier in his career, he served as executive chef at the now-closed Umami Moto in Milwaukee, and he spent two years as sous chef at Bacchus–A Bartolotta Restaurant and also as a line cook at Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro.